Pivoted Actuator Off Lock Switch With Operator Key Nonremovable In ON Position - Patent 4440994 by Patents-110

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United States Patent: 4440994


































 
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	United States Patent 
	4,440,994



 Nat
 

 
April 3, 1984




 Pivoted actuator off lock switch with operator key nonremovable in ON
     position



Abstract

An operator (10) having a lock releasing key (10a) formed thereon is
     removably coupled to a pivoted actuator (6) by resilient tabs (10d)
     depending from the operator which are cammed outwardly over the actuator
     during coupling operation and which engage with undercut surfaces (6e) in
     the actuator when the operator is fully seated upon the actuator. The tabs
     (10d) seated at one end of the actuator align with formations (4e) in the
     housing (2, 4) in the ON position of the actuator to prevent outward
     camming movement of the respective tabs, thereby preventing removal of the
     operator in the ON position.


 
Inventors: 
 Nat; Gursharan P. S. (Smithfield, NC) 
 Assignee:


Eaton Corporation
 (Cleveland, 
OH)





Appl. No.:
                    
 06/410,103
  
Filed:
                      
  August 20, 1982





  
Current U.S. Class:
  200/43.04  ; 200/323; 200/339
  
Current International Class: 
  H01H 27/00&nbsp(20060101); H01H 027/00&nbsp()
  
Field of Search: 
  
  









 200/42T,42R,315,318,322,323,324,327,339,321
  

References Cited  [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
 
 
 
3678229
July 1972
Osika

3761664
September 1973
Kodaira

3906176
September 1975
Carlson

4013858
March 1977
Grebner et al.

4168416
September 1979
Josemans

4174472
November 1979
Josemans

4230917
October 1980
Osika

4291207
September 1981
Reinke et al.

4345121
August 1982
Tenner



   Primary Examiner:  Marcus; Stephen


  Assistant Examiner:  Cusick; Ernest G.


  Attorney, Agent or Firm: Grace; C. H.
Vande Zande; L. G.



Claims  

I claim:

1.  An electric switch comprising, in combination: an insulating housing having an opening thereon;


switch contacts in said housing;


a pivotally supported actuator within said opening movable between ON and OFF positions for actuating said switch contacts between ON and OFF conditions, respectively;


locking means carried by said actuator and biased for engagement with said housing for preventing movement of said actuator from said OFF position to said ON position;


a manual operator removably coupled to said actuator for releasing said locking means, said operator having resilient coupling means extending along the exterior of said actuator and cammed outwardly by said actuator during coupling movement of
said operator to said actuator, said coupling means moving inwardly into engagement with cooperating means on said actuator upon completion of said coupling movement for releasably retaining said operator coupled to said actuator;  and


means on said housing in juxtaposition with said coupling means when said actuator is moved to said ON position, said means on said housing comprises a constriction in said opening and movement of said actuator to said ON position carries at
least one of said coupling means into juxtaposition with said constriction for preventing outward movement of said coupling means.


2.  The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling means are provided adjacent opposite ends of said pivoted actuator and said means on said housing in juxtaposition with said coupling means are provided adjacent one end of said
actuator.


3.  The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling means comprises pairs of laterally opposed tabs depending along said actuator on opposite sides of its pivot, said constriction is located beyond the depending ends of one pair of said
tabs when said actuator is in said OFF position, and movement of said actuator to said ON position pivots said depending ends of said one pair of tabs into juxtaposition with said constriction.


4.  The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein said constriction comprises inwardly projecting bosses formed on laterally opposed sides of said opening.


5.  The invention as defined in claim 4 wherein said tabs have inwardly projecting cam surfaces and said cooperating means on said actuator comprises undercut surfaces.  Description  

BACKGROUND OF
THE INVENTION


This invention relates to pivoted actuator switches such as rocker switches or toggle lever switches.  More specifically the invention relates to switches of the aforementioned type wherein the actuator contains an integral locking member
operable to lock the switch in an OFF position when a separable operator member or key is removed therefrom.


Switches of the aforementioned type have been known heretofore.  One such switch is disclosed and claimed in Grebner et al U.S.  Pat.  No. 4,013,858, which is assigned by mesne assignments to the assignee of this invention.  The disclosure of the
above identified patent is incorporated herein by reference.  In the above identified patent, the operator member or key may be removed from the switch in either position, and if so removed when the switch is in the ON position the actuator, which
remains pivotly supported to the switch, may be operated manually to the OFF position wherein an integral lock functions to lock the switch in the OFF position until such time as the operator member is reassembled to the switch.


It is desirable in some applications of these switches to prevent removal of the operator when the switch is in the ON position.  U.S.  Pat.  No. 4,168,416, issued Sept.  18, 1979, to L. J. Josemans and assigned by mesne assignments to the
assignee of this invention, discloses a switch of the aforementioned type wherein laterally extending bosses are provided on the operator member to fit within arcuate slots formed in upstanding guards on the housing when the switch is in the ON position
to permit removal of the operator member only when the switch is in the OFF position.  While this switch functions well for its intended purpose, the interrelated structural components of the operator and housing to achieve this purpose render the
molding process for these parts more complex and accordingly increases the manufacturing costs of this switch.


SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


This invention provides a pivoted actuator switch having a lock operable to lock the switch in the OFF position and a removable operator member assembled to the actuator to release the lock and means economically formed on the switch housing for
preventing removal of the operator when the switch is in the ON position.


This invention provides a switch having an actuator pivotly supported within an insulating housing and movable between ON and OFF positions for actuating switch contacts within the housing, a locking means carried by the actuator for locking the
actuator in the OFF position, an operator removably coupled to the actuator for releasing the locking means, coupling means on the operator which are cammed outwardly upon coupling movement of the operator to the actuator and which subsequently move
inwardly to engage cooperating formations on the actuator to releasably retain the operator coupled to the actuator, and means on the housing aligned with the coupling means when the actuator is moved to the ON position for preventing outward movement of
the coupling means.


The invention and its advantages will be more fully understood when reading the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


FIG. 1 is an enlarged side view, partially in section, of the pivoted actuator off locking switch of this invention showing the switch in the OFF position and the operator member removed from its coupled position with the actuator;


FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the operator coupled to the actuator and the switch in the ON position;


FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the switch taken along line 3--3 in FIG. 2;


FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view drawn to an enlarged scale taken along the line 4--4 in FIG. 3;


FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a detail shown in FIG. 3; and


FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the switch actuator and operator elements moved to displaced positions. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS


Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a pivoted actuator off locking switch provided with a molded insulating housing comprising a base 2 secured to a molded frame 4 by hooks 4a integrally molded with the frame.  Frame 4 has an opening 4b
communicating with its upper surface and with a cavity 2a of base 2 through a smaller opening 4c formed in a horizontal wall 4d of the frame.  An actuator assembly 6 is pivotally supported in the frame 4 within the opening 4b and has a lower stem 6a
projecting downwardly into the cavity 2a through the opening 4c.  The pivotal support for actuator assembly 6 may be provided by a pin which extends through the actuator assembly 6 and through the opposite sidewalls of the frame 4, or may preferably be
provided by trunnions 6b molded integrally with the actuator and extending laterally into holes (not shown) in the side walls of frame 4.  While not shown herein, stem 6a includes a contact actuating mechanism which has connection with switch contacts
mounted in the cavity 2a of base 2 in a manner disclosed in the above reference patents.  The actuator assembly 6 also has a wedgeshaped guide 6c molded integrally therewith and projecting upwardly from its upper surface.


A locking pin 8 is slidably carried within the actuator assembly 6 and is spring biased to project outwardly from the left-hand end of the actuator 6 to extend below the wall 4d when the actuator is in the OFF position as shown in FIG. 1 to lock
the actuator against pivotal movement to the ON position as shown in FIG. 2.  An operator 10, shown in FIG. 1 as disassembled from the actuator assembly 6, has depending key formations 10a molded integrally therewith which extend through openings 6f
(FIG. 4) in the upper surface of actuator 6 when the operator 10 is assembled to the actuator 6.  The lower surfaces of keys 10a are beveled to provide a cam surface 10b which cams the locking pin 8 inwardly such that its tip is flush with the arcuate
profile of the actuator assembly 6.  The interior of an upstanding handle portion 10c of operator 10 is hollow and complementally formed to the guide 6c to guide the member 10 onto the actuator 6.


Operator 10 also has two pairs of integrally molded, laterally opposed tabs 10d depending from the lower surface of its sidewalls.  The free ends of tabs 10d have cam-shaped latching surfaces 10e formed on the interior sides thereof.  Actuator 6
has pairs of laterally opposed grooves 6d formed in its exterior surfaces adjacent opposite ends thereof, the ends of grooves 6d terminating in recesses which provide undercut ledges 6e in each groove.  Operator 10 is operatively coupled to actuator 6 by
sliding the operator over the upstanding guide 6c such that the keys 10a projecting into the aforementioned openings 6f and the tabs 10d engage within the grooves 6d.  As the operator 10 is pushed downwardly onto the actuator 6, the cam surfaces 10e
engage with the lateral surfaces of the grooves 6d to cam the tabs 10d laterally outwardly as shown in FIG. 6 until the operator is seated upon the upper surface of actuator 6, whereupon the cam surfaces 10e engage with the undercut surfaces 6e to permit
the tabs 10d to return to their undeflected condition.  The cam surfaces 10e and the undercut surfaces 6e function as a detent to releasably retain the operator member 10 assembled to the actuator member 6.  When so assembled, the locking pin 8 is
withdrawn within the actuator 6 and the switch may be manually actuated between the OFF position shown in FIG. 1 and the ON position shown in FIG. 2 by manually moving the handle portion 10c of the operator.


The switch may be locked in its OFF position by merely grasping the handle portion 10c of operator 10 and pulling the operator linearly from the actuator 6, thereby permitting the locking pin 8 to again project from the left-hand end of actuator
6 below the ledge 4d.


To prevent the operator 10 from being removed from actuator 6 when the switch is in the ON position shown in FIG. 2, the opening 4b is provided with a pair of laterally aligned, opposed bosses 4e which project inwardly from the sidewalls of the
opening.  The bosses 4e are positioned to be below the free end of depending tabs 10d within the grooves 6d at the right-hand end of the actuator 6 when the switch is in the OFF position (FIG. 1).  As will be seen in FIG. 2, when the switch is in the ON
position the free ends of tabs 10d within the right-hand slots 6d are aligned immediately adjacent the bosses 4e.  As seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 the bosses 4e extend inwardly to be disposed in close proximity to the tabs 10d, thereby constricting the
opening 4b this point.  Accordingly, the bosses 4e prevent the right-hand tabs 10d from being cammed outwardly by the coaction between cam surfaces 10e and the undercut surface 6 e if an attempt is made to remove the operator 10 from the actuator 6 when
in the ON position.  It will be appreciated that the constricting in the opening 4b provided by bosses 4e can be obtained by other configurations within the opening 4b and that the bosses or other configurations can be provided without complicating the
molding die for the frame 4 by requirements for additional multi-direction slides or the like.


It is to be understood that the invention hereinbefore described is not intended to be confined to the particular preferred embodiment of pivotable actuator off lock switch having its operator removable only when in the OFF position as disclosed,
inasmuch as it is susceptible of various modifications without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


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